With DA Cy Vance’s grant, Sanctuary and STEPS to End Family Violence launch the FamilySafe Program

Thanks to a generous grant from DA Cy Vance, Sanctuary and STEPS to End Family Violence are thrilled to be launching the FamilySafe Program which will offer family-focused therapy treatment to victims of domestic violence and their children.

“By [investing in youth and families] we believe that we can limit [children] becoming involved in the criminal justice system in the first place… Law enforcement has to understand that we’re not going to prosecute and arrest our way out of the problems that we have in our society, we’re going to have to get serious about investing in our kids.”

– Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance

Back in February, Manhattan DA Cy Vance announced the grant awardees of a $58 million dollar investment into youth and families to prevent crime in Manhattan. As a recipient of nearly $1.5 million in funding over three years, Sanctuary, in partnership with STEPS to End Family Violence, is preparing to launch the FamilySafe Program. Speaking at the grantee ceremony earlier this year, Sanctuary Executive Director Hon. Judy Harris Kluger shared how the FamilySafe Program will help heal and empower New York families.

“Every year, tens of thousands of children right here in New York City witness the horror of domestic violence in their own homes. The damage is incalculable.

Exposure to domestic violence in a child’s life is associated with increased levels of high-risk behavior, like substance abuse and gang involvement. One study found men who were exposed to abuse and domestic violence as children were almost four-times more likely to become abusers than men who had not been exposed.

Thanks to the Manhattan District Attorney’s generous grant, Sanctuary for Families will work in partnership with STEPS to End Family Violence, to launch the FamilySafe Program. The program expands on our existing clinical services that strengthen relationships between parents who suffer domestic abuse and their children who witness it.

This grant will allow us to serve 225 new families – every year – providing them with intensive evidence-based treatment or with assessments for family therapy and parenting services.

This initiative will go a long way to reduce the trauma in children, improve parents’ confidence and optimism, and break the inter-generational cycle of violence for the families we serve.”

Building on over 30 years of clinical services and expertise

The launch of the FamilySafe program marks an exciting and important step forward for our clinical department. Over the last decade, research into traumatic stress and PTSD has given way to a greater understanding of the symptoms and effects of trauma as well as several therapy methods (also called evidence-based treatment) that have been proven to be effective in treating trauma victims AND their families.

Since 1985, Sanctuary has provided specialized services to children who have been victims or witnesses of domestic violence in their homes. Acutely aware of how domestic violence affects entire families, we have built a strong portfolio of trauma-focused, culturally and linguistically sensitive clinical services for domestic violence victims and their children. This portfolio is one that we are proud of and one that we continually seek to improve upon and expand. With the launch of the FamilySafe Program, our Clinical team hopes to begin a larger transition from separate counseling services for adults and their children to an attachment-focused family therapy approach (also known as dyadic family therapy) that both treats the trauma children have experienced and rebuilds the trust and attachment between the non-abusing parent and child.

Rolling out the FamilySafe Program

At this time, the roll-out of the FamilySafe Program is just beginning. Sanctuary is currently developing an assessment tool which we will integrate into our intake screenings so that we can identify families who would benefit from dyadic family therapy. With the assessment tool in place, specialized staff on-boarded, and our clinical department trained on the new process, we will begin intake.

Between Sanctuary and STEPS to End Family Violence, we aim to assess 225 families and provide intensive evidence-based, family attachment-focused treatment to 150 of those families annually. In addition to specialized treatments, STEPS and Sanctuary will each offer two to three cycles of Parenting Journey, a program which helps parents build stronger families by developing the inner strengths, life skills, and networks of resources they need to succeed. In each cycle, 8-10 families will meet for two hours a week for three to four months. Parents will be able to participate in activities, discussions, and family-style meals with complimentary childcare included.

Over the next two and a half years of the FamilySafe Program, Sanctuary will track and assess the program’s impacts. Assuming we see the positive effects we expect, we will look for ways to continue and expand the program.

Keep an eye out for more updates as we roll out this exciting new initiative!

 

 

Thank you for supporting our 2016 Annual Giving Campaign

Thanks to the generosity of people like you, we raised nearly $765,000 to benefit the thousands of gender violence survivors we will serve in 2017.

Thanks to the generosity of people like you, we raised nearly $765,000 to benefit the thousands of gender violence survivors we will serve in 2017. We’re incredibly grateful for your support. To say thank you we asked Amy, a survivor of domestic violence and star of our Annual Giving Campaign, and our Executive Director, Hon. Judy Harris Kluger, to say a few words on behalf of all of us at Sanctuary for Families.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Get Involved!

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month – check out our list of exciting ways you can get involved!

Did you know 1 in for 4 women will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime? In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we’ve put together a list of exciting opportunities for you to get involved with. Join us in raising awareness and help us end domestic violence!

Events:

October 6th

NYC Go Purple Day – Wear purple and post photos with the hashtags #NYCGoPurple #DVAM2016. Be sure to tag us @SFFNY (Twitter & Instagram) or @Sanctuary for Families (Facebook).

October 6th, 7th and 8th

Cracks of Light, part of Gibney Dance’s observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, bears witness to survivors of intimate partner and gender-based violence in a series of performance works created during the journey from struggle to survival. We are so proud that the evening includes a piece by Sanctuary clients, survivors who have emerged as advocates for social change, created in collaboration with members of Gibney Dance Company.

Each evening features a unique bill of performances as well as a reception and a post-performance discussion with performing artists and social justice advocate Rosaana Conforme (LMSW, MSEd), Sanctuary Clinical Director of Family Justice Centers in the Bronx and Manhattan. For more details and to purchase tickets, click here.

October 7th

Korean American Family Service Center’s (KAFSC) Silent March – march with KAFSC and Sanctuary at KAFSC’s 19th Annual Silent March. Meet up begins at 5:00 PM at 109th Precinct March begins at 5:30 PM and will conclude at Queens Library.

October 19th

Above & Beyond Pro Bono Achievement Awards – Join us in honoring members of the legal community who have gone “above and beyond” by providing outstanding pro bono representation and advocacy to victims of domestic violence, sex trafficking and related forms of gender violence.

For more information about the event and to purchase tickets, click here. Can’t make it? Purchase a raffle ticket and your name will be entered for a chance to win 2 tickets and backstage passes to Hamilton! the musical.

October 20th

NY State Shine a Light on Domestic Violence – Wear Purple Day – ‘Shine a light’ on the issue of domestic violence by turning your community purple. Wear the color, share photos on social media, illuminate your home or spread the word in your office.

Use the hashtags: #ShinetheLight, #WearPurpleNYS and #PurpleThursday and tag us @SFFNY (Twitter & Instagram) or @Sanctuary for Families (Facebook).

October 27th

CLE: Abuse, Technology & Evidence in Cases of Gender-Based Violence: Using Technology, Proving Your Case
Advances in technology and the ubiquity of the internet (and its myriad social media sites) have created a new wave of abuse tactics employed by perpetrators of gender-based violence. It’s critical that attorneys and other legal staff representing victims of domestic violence and sex trafficking understand these issues and develop the skills necessary to successfully advocate for victims of cyber or electronic abuse.

The CLE will be take place on October 27th between 12:15-2:30 pm at Proskauer Rose, 11 Times Square (between 8th Ave and 41st Street).  Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP here.

Volunteer

We engage over 2,000 volunteers annually. Learn more about our diverse volunteer and internship opportunities by clicking here.

Donate

A donation of $50 can help provide healthy snacks for children and teen witnesses of domestic violence who attend our after school activities. Give today.

Our incredible team of TCS New York Marathon runners are raising money to support Sanctuary’s services. Help them out.

Attend our Above and Beyond Pro Bono Achievement awards or purchase raffle tickets for a chance to see Hamilton! the musical.

Speak out

Show your support for survivors of domestic violence. Talk to your friends, family and colleagues; share information through social media; let your representatives know that the silence surrounding domestic violence must end!

Tag us @SFFNY (Twitter & Instagram) or @Sanctuary for Families (Facebook) and use the hashtags: #DVAM2016 #NoLoveInViolence#DomesticViolenceAwarenessMonth #EndDV

Spread the word, end the abuse.

Prostitution is a root cause of gender violence. Let’s end it now.

Why put an end to prostitution? Far from being a job, prostitution is exploitative, harmful, and perpetuates gender inequality.

This week the New York Times Magazine featured the cover story “Should Prostitution Be a Crime?”

The article suggests that people in prostitution are helped by the wholesale decriminalization of the sex trade, including pimping and sex buying.

This position flies in the face of our work assisting thousands of survivors of sex trafficking. Far from being a job like any other, prostitution is almost invariably a condition of gender exploitation and frequently a violent and lethally dangerous form of abuse inextricably connected to sex trafficking.

Each day we work with survivors who share their histories of abuse and exploitation in the sex trade. Many of them were lured into it by pimps and traffickers, most as children. Others have ended up in prostitution when conditions of extreme poverty and prior sexual abuse leave them traumatized and with few options.

Ms. Bazelon’s omission of the experience of these victims, almost exclusively women and girls of color and undocumented immigrants, and her focus instead on the comparatively privileged, adult, mostly white “sex worker,” creates a falsely benign picture of the world’s most brutal industry.

Also omitted is the fact that prostituted and trafficked girls and women rarely reap the economic benefits of their exploitation–and by the time their economic value in the sex trade has expired are with rare exceptions physically, psychologically, and economically devastated.

Our clients’ experiences are the basis of our conviction that commercial sexual exploitation is one of the root causes of gender inequality and that we need to eliminate it, not simply try to mitigate the harm suffered by its victims.

People in prostitution should not be criminalized and must be provided with services to get out of poverty and escape exploitation. That’s why Sanctuary is growing our Economic Empowerment Program so that even more survivors can find a path to living wage, career-track work.

We contend, however, that when we fail to hold traffickers, pimps and buyers accountable, the sex trafficking industry continues to expand, destroying the lives of new generations of victims.

We are saddened that the voices of our clients were not included in this article. The author rejected our offer to share their experience with her. We were not alone. Many of our partner organizations, who have vast experience serving prostituted and trafficked people, were not consulted by Ms. Bazelon.

At Sanctuary, we believe that failing to hold traffickers, pimps and buyers accountable, is not progressive but harmful and dangerous to the women, men, and children we serve.

We believe that they deserve safe harbor and a world without exploitation.